Unity Junior High bringing ‘escape room’ concept to classroom

Escape rooms have been gaining popularity throughout the U.S. In the recreational team sport, groups of people are given a limited amount of time to “break out” of a locked room. They use clues provided in the room and cooperate to solve the puzzle.
A company called Breakout EDU has found a way to use the idea in the classroom with kits.

Carrie Busey holds bell ringing ceremony to mark end of school year

For the first time in 71 years, the sound of a school bell reverberated at a Savoy school last week.
“We’re going to use symbolism today to end the school year,” Principal Jeff Scott told students last Thursday.
Scott reflected on the last school year and how much students have learned.

Read the full story in the June 1 issue of The County Star.

Four graduate from St. Thomas School in Philo

“A small group but a mighty group” of four graduated from St. Thomas Catholic School on Friday night.
The term bestowed by Principal Lisa Doughan referred to Evelyn Atkins, Evan LeFaivre, Mercedes Rentschler and Matt Stricklin, the Class of 2017. The quartet led the readings and prayers during a Mass that preceded the graduation ceremony.

Unit 7 bonds for high school improvements

The Unit 7 school board has borrowed $3 million in the bond market to pay for infrastructure improvements at Unity High School.
David Pistorius, senior vice president at First Midstate Inc., the bond underwriter the school district used, reported that the net interest cost was 3.35 percent.
“I’m real pleased,” Pistorius said.

Unit 7 joins call for Illinois budget

The Unit 7 school district will join 103 other districts throughout Illinois who have signed on to support a state initiative called “Pass Illinois Budget.”
Urbana District 116 is also backing the effort. The districts are calling on the governor and the legislature to end the state budget impasse, fix the formula and pay school districts what they are owed.

Hall of Fame, NHS members honored at ceremony

New members were inducted into Unity High School’s Alumni Hall of Fame during a ceremony last Thursday and shared words of wisdom with Unity students being inducted into the National Honor Society.
Lt. Col. John Heimburger presided over the Hall of Fame induction.

St. Thomas celebrates grandparents

Generations converged at St. Thomas Catholic Grade School as students welcomed their grandparents Friday for Grandparents' Day. The day started with a Mass prepared by the first-graders. Everyone then enjoyed coffee and doughnuts together before students provided a program. Afterward, the grandparents visited classrooms, which hosted a variety of activities.

Unity planning summer school

Unity High School officials are looking into starting a summer school program.
Sixteen years ago, the school started a student assistance program for students struggling with their academics.
“Even after doing all that, we found some students are falling behind in credits,” Unity Principal Phil Morrison told the school board.

Read the full story in the April 6 County Star.

Four chosen for Hall of Fame

Four graduates of Unity High School have been chosen as the 14th class of inductees to the school’s Alumni Hall of Fame.
The 14th class will include an investment advisor, a county auditor, a farmer and a music professor. In addition, military judge James Gardner, who was inducted into the 13th class but was unable to attend last year’s ceremony, will be honored.

Unity marks FFA Week

Unity High School’s FFA celebrated National FFA Week Feb. 18 through 25.
The ag shop played host to a chicken wing lunch on Tuesday and a pork chop lunch on Thursday, both open to the public. The FFA members deliver meals to companies that help sponsor their test plots and other projects throughout the year.

Read the full story in the March 2 issue of The County Star.

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